The Secretary of State's office reported yesterday that Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) is now leading his Republican challenger David Harmer by 498 votes.
But McNerney's campaign manager Doug Greven took the voting results one step farther, sending out a press release by email yesterday stating that "with nearly all the votes tallied in California's 11th Congressional District, Congressman Jerry McNerney has won re-election (with) an insurmountable lead of 1,681 votes." In a similar report Tuesday, Greven said the lead was 2,269 votes.
In a separate email release, Harmer said many votes remain to be counted and "it would be premature to concede defeat now."
According to figures listed by Secretary of state Debra Bowen at 4:10 p.m. yesterday, McNerney has 98,504 votes, or 48.3% of the votes cast, against Harmer's 96,006 votes, or 47.0%. A third candidate, American Independent candidate David Christensen, received 9,695 votes, or 4.7% of the votes cast.
She said the latest count came from votes cast in the 11th Congressional district race in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Santa Clara counties
With a press release headline stating that "MCNERNEY WINS RE-ELECTION IN CALIFORNIA'S 11th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT," Greven analyzed the vote count as follows:
"In San Joaquin County, approximately 6,500 provisional ballots remain to be counted. Currently, McNerney is reporting 44.34 % of the vote and Harmer 48.61% in San Joaquin County. Applying these same trends to the remaining ballots, Harmer could gain at most only 278 votes.
"In Contra Costa County, approximately 4,500 vote-by-mail and provisional ballots remain to be counted. Currently, McNerney is reporting 48.45 % of the vote and Harmer 48.66%. Applying these same trends to the remaining ballots, Harmer could gain at most 9 votes from Contra Costa County.
"In Alameda County, approximately 200 ballots remain at most to be counted. Currently, McNerney is reporting 56.29% of the vote and Harmer 40.82% in Alameda County. Given that Alameda County has overwhelming broken for McNerney, he is expected to gain votes from these remaining ballots.
"In Santa Clara County, approximately 500 provisional and other ballots remain to be counted. McNerney is currently reporting 52.10% of the vote and Harmer is reporting 43.88%. McNerney is likely to gain approximately 41 votes in Santa Clara County."
Not so fast, Harmer responded.
"On election night, when I led by thousands of votes, and supporters were congratulating me and calling me 'Congressman,' I cautioned that it was too early to claim victory. Many votes remained to be counted.
"That is still the case. Just as it would have been premature to claim victory then, it would be premature to concede defeat now.
"As I said the day after the election, my objective is to ensure that every legitimate vote is accurately counted. Once that has been done, I will offer a statement about the results."